Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth advertising, and dentists should take notice. With so much competition for new dental patients, a handful of mediocre or worse reviews can leave you struggling to fill your chairs. When we come back, I’ll tell you how to get those glowing reviews and what to do to avoid bad ones.
– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.
– I’m Colin Receveur.
– In today’s wired environment, information spreads at the speed of light.
– And since people looking for a dentist overwhelmingly begin their search online, reputation, and reputation management, are hot topics for dentists.
– Any competent dentist should get overwhelmingly positive reviews, but that’s not always what happens.
– The reasons for less-than-stellar reviews are almost always related to communication.
– Often, the reason for the complaint is that expectations concerning cost, scheduling, and outcome weren’t managed properly.
– Having clear, written explanations of your practice’s policies and procedures, as well as financial information, is cheap insurance against complaints.
– Having patients sign that that they’re received and read those documents is additional insurance.
– But even that won’t cover all your bases.
– Sometimes, the problem is a careless word or even a look from one of your normally warm and empathetic staff.
– Your staff should be trained to watch for and listen for any signs of patient dissatisfaction.
– You should specifically empower your staff to deal with the situation and to know when to pass the problem on to you.
– Your best bet is to prevent complaints from ever leaving your practice, but sometimes that’s not possible.
– If a complaint does go public, have a predetermined strategy for handling it.
– Never react in the heat of the moment, and above all, never appear defensive.
– Adopt a concerned, caring tone and emphasize your practice’s commitment to patient satisfaction.
– If warranted, offer some form of amends – privately is best, if you can establish communication with the complainant.
– You can sometimes turn a negative review into a glowing, 5-star review based on how you respond to the issue.
– This is not an area you can ignore because many dental prospects base their decision on a dentist’s overall rating.
– If your rating is below your competition’s due to a handful of negative reviews, those dental prospects will choose someone other than you.